Outside of my day job at Malbek, I have a side hobby making cakes. As I was sorting through some of my cake pictures, I realized there’s a lot of similarities between making a fancy cake and configuring software. In this three part series I want to talk about those similarities. This is part three and we are going to talk about legacy contracts and migration.
Legacy Contracts and Data Migration
We all have that one recipe that has been in our family for generations. But, tastes and ingredients change over time. And suddenly Great Grandma Sue's pound cake that calls for a full pound of butter, despite being delicious, needs to be moved into modernity. Much like updating a recipe, moving a contract isn't something that anyone wants to do. But don't fret. Everyone has legacy contracts, and most organizations will migrate at least some of them, either manually or with a mass upload. And since we have learned some best practices over many implementations, we have a few tips for your data migration:
Tip one: What will I migrate?
Don’t migrate everything. Remember the mantra: “Garbage In, Garbage Out." You probably don’t need those archived contracts from 1984. Keep Malbek clean and only import what you need. Then narrow down your fields. What is the important metadata you need to report on and keep track of? Remember your data, or fields, are different than your documents. Your data will be uploaded separately from your documents, and then they’ll be connected into one contract record in Malbek.
Tip two: How will you gather your data?
Do you need to scan paper contracts? Do you have PDF files already that can be indexed? Do you plan to use AI? There are third party companies that can go through your files and sort the metadata for you. This is cost-effective in time savings, but it does require a lot of coordination from you. Remember that no third-party or AI knows your data like you do, and they are bound to make mistakes. Plan for a lot of validation using these processes.
Tip three: Advice from a former CLM customer
As someone who has done this process as a CLM customer several times, don’t underestimate the time it will take. Plan now. Start now. Don’t wait. Migrating data into Malbek isn’t time consuming. It's preparing the data that will take up most of your time. No worries though. Anything can be done with Malbek and the right resources. So, you wont be needing any of this cake any time soon!
And for some fun Q&A:
Did you really make all these cakes?
Yes, I did!
Are the contract folders actually cake? For real?
Yes, they are. It was made for a going-away party for a contract admin who was leaving the company. The glasses, pen, and post-its are also made of sugar. Funny story. When we were setting up for the party, the boss saw the cake and thought someone had left contract folders on the cake table. He tried to pick them up before realizing it was a cake! The Xanax bottle was also from the same party, and I made it for our boss who was a bit panicked at losing this employee.
How long does it take to make cakes?
This is a very time-consuming hobby. Between planning, baking, and decorating, a complex cake like the blue leaning one can easily take 40 hours. Elements like sculpting and extensive detailing add a lot of time. You may see a decorator make a fancy cake on TV in 30 minutes, but that is all TV editing.
Do you watch Cake Boss/Nailed It/Cake Wars/Great British Baking Show etc.?
I blame those types of shows for starting me in this hobby.
Do you want to be on Nailed It/Cake Wars/Great British Baking Show etc.?
No way! The spotlight is not for me.
Did you take any classes?
I took two classes through my local Michaels craft stores when I first started in 2010. The rest is all self taught. YouTube is an amazing resource.
Do you sell your cakes?
I used to do this as a part-time business out of my home, but it was time-consuming and exhausting. I only make cakes for friends and family now.
I wish I could learn to do this, but I’m not creative.
You can! It’s really not that hard. Time and patience are the biggest requirements. It’s about 50% engineering and planning, 40% technique, and 10% artistry. Try a class. They’re not expensive and will teach you a lot of the basics.